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The Absolute Sound

  Welcome to The Abso!ute Sound online! We explore music and the reproduction of music in the home. We believe that the sound of music, unamplified, occurring in a real space is a philosophic absolute against which we may judge the performance of devices designed to reproduce music. Our goal is to provide the resources consumers need to judge how a component's sound either honors or departs from the music's truth, and to make sound purchasing decisions that maximize their experience of reproduced sound. Below is our Issue 144, October / November 2003 table of contents and editorial.

October / November 2003



4 - From The Editor 

8 - Letters 

148 - Manufacturer Comments



18 - Future TAS: Products on the Horizon

20 - Industry News

26 - Absolute Analog
Stephan Harrell spins a trio of European imports —
Roksan's Radius 5, Thorens' TD850, and Nottingham's Horizon. 


TAS Journal

32 - 30th Anniversary Feature 
From our third issue, HP's groundbreaking review of the Audio Research SP-3 preamp, the product that launched a tube revival, with a contemporary comment from HP.

36 - Editors' Choice Awards
Our second annual assemblage of the very best products reviewed in these pages.

67 - Special Report 
Alan Taffel listens to the Acura/ELS's breakthrough DVD-A Auto Sound System. 


Equipment Reports

73 - Sophia Electric Baby Amplifier
Baby indeed! Wayne Garcia listens to this tiny, good sounding, and inexpensive tube amplifier — and she's cute too.

75 - Power to the People: Nine Power Conditioners Surveyed
Chris Martens gives you the lowdown on 9 — yes 9! — ways to improve your AC power.

85 - Ayre AX-7 Integrated Amplifier 
Robert Harley likes what he hears from Ayre's tasty new integrated amp.

89 - Thiel CS2.4 Loudspeaker
Thiel's latest floorstander gets a workout from our man in Studio City, Neil Gader.

93 - Meridian 502 Analogue Controller and 559 Power Amplifier
"Just right" is how Sue Kraft describes this mid-priced pair from Meridian.

97 - Soundline Audio SL2 Loudspeaker
Robert E. Greene checks out this hybrid design, 
and tells you how to save a few bucks, too.

101 - Sutherland Ph.D. Battery-Powered Phonostage
No AC = very quiet LP playback. Wayne Garcia on the latest from the mind of Ron Sutherland.

104 - Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista CD/SACD Player
The company's name describes the player, according to Shane Buettner.


The Cutting Edge

111 - Linn's Marvelous Musik Machine: The Kivor Digital-Audio Server
Nicholas Bedworth checks out Linn's 21st Century music box.

119 - Boulder's 2008 Phono Preamplifier, 1012 DAC/Preamplifier, and 1060 Power Amplifier
Paul Seydor takes an in-depth look at these gorgeously built and ultra-pricey components.


HP Workshop

133 - Surround Sound in Action: The Recordings, A Cross Section of Some Hits (and Misses)
HP on the current state of multichannel sound.


The Music

151 - Classical

Handel: Rinaldo and Aci, Galatea e Polifemo
Sibelius: Rondo of the Waves
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, The Stone Flower
Eighth Blackbird: Thirteen Ways
Chopin: Piano works, Mozart: Piano Sonatas, Schubert: Three Piano Sonatas

RECORDING OF THE ISSUE: Rainbow Body (Atlanta/Spano)
Paris: La Belle Epoque (Yo-Yo Ma)
Beethoven: Symphonies 5 and 7; Puccini: La Boheme
Lloyd: Fourth Symphony, Harris/Gould: Symphonies, Schuman: Credendum

Elgar/Payne: Symphony No. 3, Shostakovich: The Bolt, Jazz Suites


163 - Jazz

Randy Weston: Randy Weston box set
Shirley Horn: May the Music Never End
Joel Harrison: Free Country, Adam Levy: Get Your Glow On
Lee Konitz with Alan Broadbent: Live-Lee
Ralph Alessi: This and That and Vice & Virtue
Apa Ini: Apa Ini
Miles Davis: The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions box set

John Coltrane: Blue Trane, Bill Charlap: Star Dust, Miles Davis: Steamin'


171 - Rock & Pop

Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Greendale
My Morning Jacket: It Still Moves
Cheap Trick: Special One
Bela Fleck: Little Worlds

Absolute Audiophilia
A Mighty Welcome Wind: Joan Baez and Ian & Sylvia on Cisco LP

The Man Who Invented Soul: The Sam Cooke ABKCO remasters
Nickel Creek: Nickel Creek and This Time
The Kinks: Everybody’s In Show-Biz and Low Budget

Steely Dan: Everything Must Go
Deacon John's Jump Blues

On the Fringe
New records from The Mars Volta, Café Tacuba, Tomahawk, Mondo Generator, EELS, Northern State, and various '60s surf-rock "legends."


TAS Retrospective

184 - Neil Gader reminisces on the early days of his lifelong love affair with audio.



179 - Classifieds

181 - Where To Buy The Absolute Sound

183 - Ad Index



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